AOL has launched a preview of its new Social Mail Gadget for Vista created using Microsoft's Silverlight cross-platform media player technology. The gadget is designed to provide one click access to e-mail, AOL Instant Messenger service, photos and video by making them directly available from the Windows Vista desktop. The gadget will scan a user's inbox to identify an "A-List" of five people they communicate with most often. Users can also add or remove people from his or her "A-list" manually.

"The AOL Social Mail Gadget gives users a new way to keep in touch with everyone on their A-Lists - at home and at work," said Richard Landsman, Senior Vice President, Email Product Development, AOL. "This new social interface for Mail offers full AIM, pictures and video integration, and gives users the ability to find out what is happening with their friends and family in a single click."
The gadget takes advantage of a new technology from Microsoft called Silverlight, which is set to compete with Adobe's Flash technology, as a cross-browser and cross-platform browser plug-in for Rich Internet Applications. AOL's Social Mail Gadget preview is now available for download.